The sudden closure of the new KFC in Scarborough has put some neighbouring businesses in Huntriss Row in a flap during the Christmas rush, say traders.
Some businesses have reported a drop of up to 30 per cent since the restaurant shut, after Scarborough Council banned it from cooking chicken.
The company has stayed silent over a re-opening date, although traders claim they have been told it could be closed for up to four weeks.
“We need people to be coming down here,” said Scarborough Music’s Annie Jarred, in a swipe at the complainants.
Those complaints were regarding noise and odours emitting from the chicken shop, which the council admitted it couldn’t ignore.
While the council didn’t directly close the shop, it banned it from cooking food on the site until an issue with the extractor fan was fixed, leaving the restaurant with little option but to close.
“I’m really fed up about it, footfall has really dropped and this has happened at a bad time of the year,” added Annie.
The restaurant opened despite opposition from some nearby firms, who warned of a street filled with litter and “gangs”.
But when the firm eventually opened, it was met with huge queues, and Annie added the majority of Huntriss Row business owners – including food outlets – “supported” the site.
And another trader, who asked not to be named, added: “People may have had a few reservations at first, but KFC shutting has hit almost everyone hard down here.
“It’s brought loads of passing trade, and opened the street up to a lot of people who may not typically venture down here.
“I think almost everyone has their fingers crossed this row gets sorted sooner rather than later, as it could make or break a few firms’ Christmas.”
Scarborough Council claims it is in “constant dialogue” with KFC over the status of the store - but admits it doesn’t know when it will reopen.
The authority slapped the shop with a planning enforcement notice over the faulty fan, meaning while it could sell food not cooked on the site, it couldn’t sell food cooked on the site.
Andy Skelton, Scarborough Council Director of Service Delivery, admitted the news was a blow to KFC fans, but that the authority had to act.
“We have been left with no other choice due to the operators opening without complying with planning requirements.
“There has been a problem with odour and noise from this equipment and we have received justified complaints.”